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Thursday, 03 April 2014

Manchester United: Should Evra stay or should he go?


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When Patrice Evra was hauled off at half-time on his Manchester United debut in 2006 not too many people thought he'd still be at Old Trafford eight years later.

The Frenchman, signed from Monaco for £5.5 million, was given a stern introduction to English football in a Manchester derby. United lost 3-1 and Sir Alex Ferguson looked to have boobed yet again in the market. Fast forward eight years though and Evra has established himself as one of the best and most competent left-backs in the country - although he has had his fair share of ropey performances too. 

EvraEvra's contract at Old Trafford runs out at the end of the season and there has been a lot of talk about him heading to Italy or back home to France, but should Moyes do everything in his power to keep the Frenchman at United?

With Vidic going and Ferdinand nearing the end of his career, isn't it vital that Moyes has an experienced head at the back as the manager looks to rebuild the squad? 

Moyes already has a number of top class players to build his team around next season. Rooney - future captain - Mata, Carrick, Januzai and De Gea. I'd love to say Robin van Persie too, but there has been too much talk in the Press about him being unsettled for me to believe that there isn't something in it. 

So Moyes can bank on a goalkeeper, three midfielders and a roaming striker. That leaves a gaping whole in defence. Sure he has the likes of Jones, Smalling, Evans and Rafael, all with international and Champions League experience, but none as experienced or as effective as Evra.

Evra's understudy Alex Buttner put in a stellar display against Champions League holders Bayern Munich on Tuesday and has youth on his side, but he has only played for the club 25 times since joining in 2012.

Evra is still only 32. He is a professional athlete and has obviously looked after himself well. After a severe dip in performances a while back, Evra has now returned to the top of his game. At a time when Manchester United are looking to keep all of their best players and encourage new ones to join, Evra's presence would surely be a big advantage for the club.

The Frenchman would no doubt want a two-year deal at least and possibly an increase in his weekly salary so the board will have to decide if he is worth it, but trying to bring in a new player to fill that gap - complete with transfer fee, signing on fee, wages and the possibility of them not settling in - could be troublesome.

So, let's throw it open to you. If you were in David Moyes' shoes, would you try to keep Evra at the club or would you let him go? 

Whatever your views, we'd love to hear from you.

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Colin Illingworth

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